LibriVox recording of The Riddle of the Sands, by Erskine Childers.
Containing many realistic details based on Childers's own sailing trips along the German North Sea coast, the book is the retelling of a yachting expedition in the early 20th century combined with an adventurous spy story.
It was one of the early invasion novels which predicted war with Germany and called for British preparedness. The plot involves the uncovering of secret German preparations for an invasion of the United Kingdom. It is often called the first modern spy novel, and although others are as well, it was certainly very influential in the genre and for its time.
The book enjoyed immense popularity in the years before World War I and was extremely influential. Winston Churchill later credited it as a major reason that the Admiralty decided to establish naval bases at Invergordon, the Firth of Forth and Scapa Flow. (Summary from Wikipedia)
For further information, including links to M4B audio book, online text, reader information, RSS feeds, CD cover or other formats (if available), please go to the LibriVox catalog page for this recording.
May 28, 2013 Subject:
I read 'Riddle of the Sands' when in my teens and it has stayed with me many long years. Gesine's reading was comfortable and easy to follow. I also found the maps useful and spent some time searching on the web to learn more about the coast and islands.
This tale of meeting up with an old school mate to go sailing for a 'holiday' is as good a story now as it was in my youth. Both a mystery and an adventure story it is also a fine spy story.
June 29, 2010 Subject:
Although the novel is a direct influence on later spy novels, I found much of the book not the exciting, suspense-filled yarn like those of John le Carre or Frederick Forsyth. Instead, the first part of the book reads like a travelogue of the Baltic coast mixed with a introduction to nautical terms. This part of the book highlights its difficulty as an audiobook; it relies heavily on the reader following the boat's progress on a map provided in the print editions. Later on in the novel, Childers delivers suspense and intrigue as the two friends creep through fog to spy on the German plans and find their earlier explorations pay off with their knowledge of high-tide paths through the treacherous estuaries.
Full review at http://www.freelistens.blogspot.com
December 2, 2009 Subject:
riddle of the sands
I thoroughly enjoyed both the book and "Gesine's" reading of it -- her pronunciation, inflections, and cadence are always right on.
Thanks to the archive for hosting it, and thanks to Gesine for reading it.